Monday, January 08, 2007

There's a dino in my pasta, and other great inventions.

It has been a dream of mine for quite a long time now to become a product tester. I realized that dream through a Web site that sent me an appliance to test. I kind of blew my first attempt at it, to be perfectly frank, as I sort of cheated my way through the review. But we won't get into those details. This is a new year and, as such, I get a second chance.

So in honour of second chances I give you my review of two neat products that my children found under the tree this year.

The first is the Dinnersaurs Utensils. These are by a company called Fred. Aside from being colourful and fun to eat with, they are meant to be ergonomic and easy to use. Though I cannot support or deny that they are ergonomic because my daughter has not yet grasped the pencil grip, the silicone dino-shaped handle is very comfy. So far, my daughter has enjoyed the utensils immensely and has even eaten broccoli AND sweet potato since getting them (whatever works, right?)

Over all these are cute and practical. When resting the utensils on their "feet" the fork tines and spoon head stay off the table and, as a result, the food that is on them says off the table. And they may, or may not, get your kids to eat their broccoli. Though not necessarily a must have item, I think they make a great gift for a boy or a girl and retail for $15.99 CDN at Grand River Toys.

The second item is the Nalgene (pronounced NAL-jean, not Nag-lean, as I was embarrassingly calling them) Grip 'n Gulp kids' bottles. The company states that "The new Nalgene Grip'n Gulp™ is tough enough to survive being thrown form a moving minivan, spill proof enough to compel parents to blame the rug stains on the dog, and odor proof enough to allow leftover milk to go undetected under the couch for months. Most importantly, its a great way for little kids to reach new heights."

All those claims aside these were an instant hit with both my girls (ages two, and 8 months). My oldest loves drinking from it, and because it is nice and tall she can reach it when it is placed in her car booster cup holder which, uselessly, provides a beverage holder that she cannot ordinarily reach cups from because someone put an immobile armrest in the way—but that is a review for another day. My youngest liked to chase after the bottle as it scooted along the floor—a toy and a water bottle in one really.

The colours are very attractive, it is comfy to hold and it seems very easy for my daughter to tote around with her either in hand or tucked into her arm. I have found that it is hard to damage even the cheapest tumblers too badly before they are lost. Despite being handled very roughly by both girls, it has suffered only minor bruising. That being said, all of the tumblers I have purchased have shown most wear at the mouth piece where teeth scrape at the spout. This product is no exception. I am a little concerned the lid's rubber-like coating might start to peel off, but we'll see—that is certainly not going to harm the effectiveness of the container—it has a very secure lid that screws on easily and it is a snap to remove and wash the valve (replacement valves are available). Before you rush to buy one, consider what beverage your child consumes—they are not suitable for pulpy drinks like orange juice and are not leak proof—like most other containers the spout will drip when inverted. At $6-$7.99 CDN it is a great value for a durable kid targeted product. Retail info available at Nalgene USA.

I love to find fun and innovative products, so if you are interested, check back for more reviews or to just plain catch up on what I am doing lately.

Happy dining!

1 comment:

a friend to knit with said...

that silverware is adorable! Makes me want to have another baby! :) That must be so fun to be a product tester!